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Michelle O’Neill makes return visit to her old primary school

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Michelle O’Neill visited pupils at her old school, Primate Dixon Primary in Coalisland, on Friday.

Michelle O’Neill visited pupils at her old school, Primate Dixon Primary in Coalisland, on Friday.

Michelle O’Neill visited pupils at her old school, Primate Dixon Primary in Coalisland, on Friday.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill went back to school on Friday as she paid a visit to Primate Dixon Primary School in Coalisland, which she attended as a child.

The Sinn Fein vice-president praised the enthusiasm and resilience of the young people and the outstanding efforts of the school in supporting pupils and their families through the challenges of the pandemic.

Ms O’Neill said: “I was delighted to visit Primate Dixon to speak to the pupils about their experiences of the last year, listen to their concerns and hear their hopes for the future. The young people have shown so much resilience in the face of enormous challenge and it is so heartening to see them back in school with the support of their peers and school staff.

“While the school building has changed since I was a pupil, the spirit and ethos of the school community has prevailed. Primate Dixon has shown outstanding leadership over the past year in supporting the pupils’ learning and wellbeing, taking a flexible and responsive approach to meet the needs of children. I have been hugely impressed at the clear focus they have placed on care and welfare since the return of pupils to the classroom, including through physical activity which is so important for children’s health and wellbeing.”

She continued: “I hope that returning to my old school as deputy First Minister and joint leader of the Executive sends a powerful message to these pupils, and other young people that they can achieve anything they put their minds to. I know I was inspired by the young people I met today. The pupils here are full of so much enthusiasm and potential, and it was a real privilege to share some of my journey with them, from Primate Dixon to Stormont.”

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